Will a website keep Brits from crashing while on holiday?

Will a website keep Brits from crashing while on holiday?

The Foreign Office's new online tool lays out various national laws in an attempt to cut down overseas driving accidents
The British government's new online tool gives travelers specific road safety advice for the country they'll be driving in.

A new website by the United Kingdom's Foreign Office aims to keep British nationals safe while driving in foreign countries. 

Part of a new road safety campaign, the site was developed in response to reports of a high number of road traffic incidents affecting British tourists and expats in popular destinations, such as Thailand, Australia and Spain.

"In Thailand, a country with 50,000 British residents and over 870,000 British visitors per year, there were 68,582 road traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths involving both Thai residents and tourists in 2011," says the United Kingdom government post announcing the new campaign.

"In contrast 1,901 people were killed in road accidents in the UK in 2011."

Traffic accidents are the second most common cause of death for British nationals in Thailand, says the Foreign Office.After deaths from natural causes, road traffic deaths are the most common cause of death for British nationals in Thailand and cause a high number of hospitalizations, it adds.

"British nationals using the roads in Thailand should bear in mind that road laws and driving customs here are different from those in the UK and road conditions, driving standards and road traffic regulations can vary," said Mark Kent, ambassador to Thailand. 

Even if you're not British, the new online tool is pretty handy. It lets you click on the country you plan to drive in and access specific road safety advice. 

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Strange laws of the lands

The British Foreign Office report also highlights some of the unusual road laws Britons should be aware of before heading out on any European road trips. 

For example, in France, all drivers are required to carry a Breathalyzer. In Scandinavia, it's illegal to drive without headlights, even in daylight.  

In Spain, if you need to wear glasses, you're required to carry an additional pair when driving. And in some Spanish cities, cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week. 

Serbia's laws include a requirement that all cars be equipped with a tow bar and three-meter-long rope.

And finally, our favorite: in Belarus, it's illegal to drive a dirty car. Bet the car wash industry there is thriving. 

Do you prefer to rent a car or motorbike to get around when on holidays abroad? Share your experiences in the comments box below. 

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